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Re: Help needed to repair a damaged dual boot Debian System

Bernard wrote:
> was fitted with MSWIN XP ; I repartitioned the HD to have a dual boot
> (GRUB) with Debian Lenny and the original OS ; it worked very well in
> such config for more than 2 years or so ; I had a mysql server on it,
> with mysql databases.

Here you say Lenny.  But then...

> just waited indefinitely without doing nothing. Error messages appeared
> after 4 or 5 long minutes of idling, they mostly said that /dev/sda3 did
> not (no longer) exist, and that, perhaps, I should try /dev/hda3. I did

And /dev/sda would be right for Lenny.  In Lenny's 2.6.26 kernel all
device names work under the scsi naming.

But then you say /dev/hda and the hda names are the old kernel names.
This leads me to believe that you are booting an older kernel.  The
previous Etch kernel used hd names.  I think that is part of your

The first thing I would check is to see which kernels are available
and which one you are booting.  You can do this from the grub command
line.  I usually use TAB for filename completion expansion and use it
like an ls command.  (The new version of grub includes a real ls
command but older ones did not.)  Find out if you are booting the
right kernel.

If you find that you are not booting the right kernel then modify the
grub boot on the fly as you have already been doing successfully to
specify both the kernel and the associated initrd for it.

If that works it should get you to a good booting system.  But then
you will need to report that problem and fix up any other
modifications setting things back to hd* that you may have made such
as /etc/fstab.  Everything should use /dev/sd* names now.

> discovered so far. For once, the CDROM drivers did not operate at all on
> Debian environment ; under MSWIN one of the two drivers did operate ;

If my guess is right about the kernel then that would explain this
part not working too.

> none of the two drives would boot a bootable CD (whatever settings in
> the BIOS SETUP), so there is no way that I could possibly launch a
> SystemRescueCD bootdisk.

Hopefully you would be able to boot a rescue cdrom.  The debian
installer disk has a rescue mode.  That can be very useful to repair a
system such as yours.  If the above grub selection of a newer kernel
does not work then I recommend using the debian-install disk as a
rescue disk.


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